If you’re after a quick and healthy afternoon snack for your kids, these homemade protein balls are perfect. It can be hard getting older kids to ‘snack right’, but if you make it tasty they’ll go for it. A nutritious boost in the afternoon will get them through until dinner. Without them reaching for sugary convenience foods.
Of course, we know that the best way to stop kids reaching for junk food is to not buy it in the first place. Don’t stock soft drinks, chips, lollies or crappy energy drinks. That way, if they want to eat or drink them, they need to spend their own money to buy them. That might be enough to put some kids off.
It also helps to keep plenty of healthy homemade snack options on hand. Recipes that older kids can hopefully make themselves, too!
More healthy snack ideas:
Power them through
These homemade protein balls were created by leading dietitian Susie Burrell and they’re super easy to make.
“The ‘good’ or essential fats are important at all stages of life,” explains Susie. “But when energy demands are especially high as they are during adolescence, utilising nutrient and energy rich foods such as nuts and 100% natural nut spreads like Mayver’s, avocado, tuna and salmon is a great way to ensure that growing teens are getting key nutrients including protein, magnesium, zinc and Omega-3’s as well as extra energy for growth, activity and study.”
Aside from filling them up with oatmeal protein balls, Susie has more tips for feeding kids right during adolescence:
- Focus on regular protein rich meals and snacks every 2-3 hours. Good options include tuna and brown rice, Mayver’s Peanut Butter sandwiches, healthy bliss balls like my Oatmeal Protein Balls or banana bread, nuts and fruit or Greek yoghurt and granola.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand for them to grab quickly.
- Know the healthier foods they can pick up on the run such as burrito bowls and sushi.
- Include 3-4 serves of calcium rich dairy, iron rich foods and good fats from nut spreads, avocado and oily fish every day.
- Avoid sugary drinks including energy drinks and soft drink in favour of water.
Homemade protein balls
Takes 30 mins
Makes 12 balls
1 cup rolled oats
⅓ cup Mayver’s Probiotic Super Peanut Butter
¼ cup almond meal
¼ cup sugar free maple syrup
⅓ cup choc chips or peanut butter chips
Whisk together peanut butter and maple syrup. Add oats and almond meal, and mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Roll mixture into 12 balls. Store in the fridge.
These balls would freeze well in an airtight container for up to one month. So make a double or triple batch so you always have them ready to go.